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September 06, 2010

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Colin King

Yep....cars are much safer, death rate is down yet insurance rates continue to climb.

Greg H

Unquestionably, the modern Malibu does much better. But, there's a couple of non-obvious things to consider. First off, the two cars actually weigh the same amount. It's easy to think of the 59 as a lead-sled compared to the current car, but that's not true. Second, the 59 is based on a X-frame design, which couldn't possibly have done well in this kind of crash. So this is a semi-fluke based on when the NHTSA had their 50th anniversary.

Colin Scott

Jim,

Can you expand more on how ineffective Radar Traps are preventing accidents. I live in Calgary which has the distinction of being the worst place to drive when it comes to the police's reliance on speed traps, photo radar, red light cameras. My thought is, if these were effective, Calgary would be the safest place on earth to drive. Clearly that is not the case. I have always believed that is is a form of taxation on drivers. Purely a revenue grab.

Jon

All that dust in the air... is that rust? And is that why the Bel Aire fared so poorly? Yeah, call me a skeptic! I don't doubt that today's cars are safer, but that may not have been the fairest test.

Patrick

Was a 1/3 offset selected to take advantage of the old body-on-frame architecture of the 1959 vehicle? I wonder what the footage would look like in a full-front head on collision...

Jim Kenzie

The one-third offset is a standard crash test, designed to reflect how 'real' head-on crashes occur. In most cases, the drivers realize they're going to hit, and try to get back into their own lanes, hence the one-third overlap.

Chances are a full-frontal head-on crash would yield similar results.

Jim

Jim Kenzie

Ironically, those safer cars are more expensive to fix, and - crass as it is to even mention it - dead crash victims are relatively cheap. Survivors cost WAY more to keep alive and healthy!

Which is why I wish active headrests were mandatory...

Jim

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